Creating a Communitywide System of Trauma-Informed Care

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The past few decades of research support both the impact of trauma (e.g., abuse, neglect, violence) particularly in childhood, and the ability to lessen its effects through the implementation of trauma-informed care (TIC). We have successfully developed a communitywide system of TIC enhancing collaboration and common language across sectors and organizations within sectors. The collaboration involved more than 100 individuals from more than 45 organizations including healthcare, education, children’s services, the faith community, behavioral health providers, criminal justice, law enforcement, private businesses, and others. The process for developing a system of care has been evaluated through community surveys and focus groups, verifying its ability to increase understanding and implementation of TIC principles, replication in a nearby city, and the development of an instructional toolkit to aid other communities in creating such systems of care.